This morning we set the alarm and were up and moving before 7am. Lovely man that I married heated the stainless steel shower floor up for me before I got into the shower – man it was cold before he warmed it up – thanks Luv !!!! We drove into Christchurch – what a sad situation. So many of the old beautiful buildings no longer there and in the process of being demolished. So many empty blocks. So many buildings fenced off and looking desolate and like a ghost town. We couldn’t believe the difference from when we were here in 2004 – so very sad. But, the locals that we spoke to all seemed really positive about the rebuilding process although one lady told us that she had spoken to two locals yesterday who had come into Chch for the first time since the earthquake in Feb 2011 and only because they had visitors from overseas who wanted to have a look around.
We went to a shopping mall that has been built from containers – it was amazing and a great concept for businesses to be able to continue trading when there is such a shortage of usable trading areas. They join two 40’ containers together and put windows in – just amazing what people can do and made me think of the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
Loved the words on this ad
Container mall in Christchurch
After that we stopped in at Westfield Riccarton before heading off to Akaroa. We had planned on staying there over night but there were quite a few large landslides on our way over the mountains and Al was worried that there might be more if we had more rain tonight so we had lunch there, walked around the quaint little town and then got into the car and headed up to Hanmer Springs.
View of Akaroa Bay at lunch time
Al at lunch
Some of the visitors we had a lunch time
Helping himself to the sugar in the sugar bowl - so funny to watch and listen to
We found another lovely little unit and dropped our bags off before going into town for dinner and to check out the thermal pools here. Tomorrow Al has suggested a relaxing day although I am not sure how that will work out – he wouldn’t know relaxation if it bit him on the butt !!!! I really can’t see him spending a few hours at the thermal pools – maybe he will prove me wrong !
The further north we drove the more little lambs we saw – they are sooooooooooooo cute – frolicking around in the fields. The smaller ones stay really close to Mom but the ones that are slightly bigger seem to be quite happy to chase each other around and butt heads together. I got so excited every time we saw more lambs. We had seen some when we left Christchurch on the Friday after we arrived here but the further south we went, there weren’t any. I think it is too cold further south and those sheep are waiting for it to warm up before lambing starts !!!
Some of the lambs we saw outside Christchurch
Al has such a dry sense of humour and never ceases to amaze me with the one liners that he comes out with – without even a flicker of a smile from him most of the time. When we were in Akaroa, we saw an old enamel jug for $40. I remember we used to have one of those when I was growing up and I said I must remember to tell me Mom how much she could have got when she got rid of it as I am positive she doesn’t have it anymore. (While we were talking to my folks about our holiday when we were back I told them about the jug and the bone handled knives and next minute she is out of her chair and comes back from the kitchen with ‘our’ enamel jug – she still has it so am going to leep an eye out for it in the future !!!!) Actually, maybe I should check in case she does still have it and can sell it and make some money on it because I reckon she wouldn’t have paid more than $1 with the exchange rate and inflation being what it is / has been !!!!! The same as the bone handle knives that we saw yesterday for $50 for 6 – I am positive that my Gran had heaps of those – wish I knew what happened to them. Maybe I should have asked for them as well as the Cheaper By The Dozen book that I asked for when Gran died – she always used to read it to me and I just loved the stories.
Views of Akaroa
Well two more sleeps before we go home and, while we have had the most amazing time, I am ready to go home now. I want to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow. The first 8-9 days I was sleeping pretty well but the last few nights I am back to my horrible sleeping pattern – hopefully I will have a good sleep tonight and a lovely sleep in tomorrow. I am missing my on-line friends as well – feel a little disconnected not knowing what they are all getting up to and if they are all OK.